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Extension > Extension Retiree Newsletter

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dean's Column (March 2017)

Dear Extension retirees,

Nearly every week, I’m reminded of how fortunate Extension is to have such a vital and active network of retired employees. You are strong advocates, partners and volunteers as well as generous donors and supporters of Extension research and education.

This summer, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at our annual luncheons; they will take place on Tuesday, July 11 at the Fireside Restaurant in Detroit Lakes and on Thursday, July 27 at the Midland Hills Country Club here in St. Paul. Both luncheons are from noon to 2 p.m.

I also hope to see many of you at this year’s edition of Minnesota Sparks, a collaboration between Extension and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association that highlights the latest in U of M research and outreach. The first 2017 event will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at the Minnwest Technology Campus in Willmar. More Sparks events are planned for next fall and the spring of 2018, so please watch for updates.

Extension makes a difference to Minnesota and the world largely because of the dedication of our faculty and staff. I appreciate your continuing dedication to our work even after you’ve left Extension.
Bev Durgan

Dean

Extension at the Capitol

(back row) Jacquie Lonning (state program director); Anna Brekke (CAC); Rachel Meany (Mower County 4-H); Laura Wyatt, (CAC); Dorothy McCargo Freeman (associate dean); (front row) Alexis Hanson (Lake County 4-H); Meghan Beckendorf (Renville County 4-H); Roodo Abdikadir (Hennepin County 4-H) and Elizabeth Bergem (Ottertail County 4-H)
Seventy key stakeholders from across Minnesota came together Jan. 25 to learn about advocacy and legislative visits on Extension Legislative Action Day. The morning began with President Kaler’s legislative briefing breakfast, followed by updates from Dean Bev Durgan and J. D. Burton, special assistant to President Kaler, and a panel discussion.

In the afternoon, those who went to the Capitol to meet with their state legislators included members from Citizens Advisory Committee, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Public Issues Leadership Development and County Extension Committees, as well as regional directors and 4-H youth ambassadors.

On Feb. 23, Extension joined the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in presenting to the House Agriculture Finance Committee. The hearing provided an opportunity to speak with legislators on how Extension, CFANS and CVM serve Minnesota and the agriculture community.

Celebration of 4-H

4-H friends and alumni, including several Extension retirees, attended the annual Minnesota 4-H Celebration on Feb. 18 in Brooklyn Center. The event celebrates the special and lasting impact of 4-H. Attendees enjoyed music by a 4-H Arts-In performer, Minnesota-grown food and conversations with 4-H youth. The keynote speaker was Sheryl Doering Meshke, co-president and CEO for Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), a 4-H alum from Blue Earth County. They also heard from Logan Johnson, A Traverse County 4-H alum and recipient of the 2015 David E. Pace and Valerie Halverson Pace Leadership Scholarship. (Logan, David and Valerie are pictured with Dorothy McCargo Freeman, Extension associate dean for youth development.)

Logan, David and Valerie and Dorothy McCargo FreemanDavid Pace began working in Extension 4-H youth development in 1970 and retired in 2002 as associate professor emeritus. If you are interested in making a gift in support of 4-H scholarships or other Extension programs, please contact Jane Johnson at 612-626-3717 or johns350@umn.edu.

Sarah Butler helps inmates find financial freedom

Sarah Butler, Dakota County financial empowerment Extension educator, was recently awarded a $1,000 grant to continue teaching Dakota County Jail inmates how to achieve financial stability as they re-enter society. Sarah was recognized in a Driven to Discover story last year for this work. “I love helping people discover within themselves the power to change their financial situations and to meet their goals, and this grant means I can keep doing just that,” she says. Read the story on the Family Development blog.

RSDP publishes Fresh Produce Toolkit

The Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) have published a new Fresh Produce Toolkit. This suite of resources provides information to help small grocery settings handle fresh produce and incorporate locally grown foods. Toolkits were mailed to rural grocers around the state and are available for download on RSDP's rural grocery resource page.

Gordon and Lillian Shafer 4-H Endowment for Youth Leadership and Service

As a tangible expression of their commitment toward ensuring youth in northwest Minnesota have access and opportunity to develop and practice authentic leadership and service beyond self, the Gordon and Lillian Shafer 4-H Endowment for Youth Leadership and Service has been established through a gift from Gordy and Lill. Their family, friends and colleagues have also contributed to the fund. This fund will support innovative programs and approaches designed to engage and prepare youth to lead, serve and make positive change in their communities.

Discover stories on new Extension Highlights website

As an Extension retiree, you know so much more happens in Extension than ever gets told. We want to do better! That’s why we are excited to introduce the new Extension Highlights website, where you will find stories you can share about Extension programs, participants and impacts around the state. Extension research and education take place in all 87 counties of Minnesota, and we hope to eventually have stories from every county. We are launching the site with nearly 100 stories, categorized by topic and region. Thanks for being a part of Extension’s story during your time working here and in your retirement. We invite you to share these stories in your social networks.
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